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Electron double-slit experiment transverse or longitudinal waves?

  1. Feb 14, 2010 #1


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    In the case of the double-slit experiment using electrons, what kind of interference pattern is created? Characteristic to transverse or longitudinal waves? Can we tell only analyzing the interference pattern what type of waves created it? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2010 #2


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    The electron waves are not transverse or longitudinal. They do not represent any physical oscillations. Rather, their wave properties are only manifested by the fact that the likelyhood of a physical interaction in space can be described by the quantum mechanical wave function. This wave function allows for the matter waves to have a phase which allows for traditional wave properties like interference to arise. But these underlying wave behavior is not a true physical phenomenon, only its consequences.
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